Meteors and T-Birds qualify for finals

Done it before: Moe takes on Korumburra in the CBL Semi-Final this weekend. Pictured is Danielle Davies in the Meteors previous victory over Korumburra two weeks ago. Photograph: Nothing But Sports Photography





TWO Latrobe Valley clubs will continue their seasons after qualifying for the Country Basketball League finals campaign.

For the second weekend running, it was a perfect week for all Latrobe Valley clubs, as Morwell, Traralgon and Moe managed wins in both the men’s and women’s competitions.

MOE completed a perfect home-and-away season in the senior men’s competition, winning their 10th game of the season after defeating the Southern Peninsula Sharks.

The Meteors climbed from strength to strength, getting further ahead as the game grew longer, claiming as much momentum as possible before their finals campaign.

Moe put themselves in the best possible position, claiming a 12-point first quarter lead, which was contested in the second quarter, but nonetheless grew to 14 points at the half.

It only got worse for the Sharks, who were continually outscored, down by 18 points at the end of the third, before Moe closed out the game with authority, winning by 27 points, 125-98.

Thomas Portbury and Austin Shelley scored nearly half of Moe’s points, scoring 30 each, while Simon Vannapraseuth scored 21 points.

It appears to be Moe’s title for the taking, and it would be an almighty fumble to lose from here, despite it being all up for grabs in finals.

TRARALGON battled long and hard against Warragul Warriors, and managed to steal the chocolates to seal a home semi-final.

The first half had Warragul written all over it in a dominating performance that saw the Warriors grow their three-point quarter time lead into a 10-point advantage.

With all the momentum, Warragul had the top two in their sights.

But a massive third term from the T-Birds not only shifted momentum their way, but also gave them a slender four-point lead, outscoring Warragul 28-14.

A mammoth effort was needed in a grueling final quarter, that saw both sides score 28 points, and therefore see Traralgon as winners to close the home-and-away season, 89-85.

Mason Porykali and Kody Tibballs led the way for the T-Birds with 17 points apiece, also helping them over the line was Frazar Brouns (16 points), Zac Bezzina (14) and Ben Barlow (13).

The all-round performance was enough to seal second and a home final, giving two Latrobe Valley teams the best chance of progression to the big dance.

MORWELL Magic was too strong for the Sale Sonics, beating them by nine points at home, despite some late pressure from the visitors.

The Magic started strongest, taking a commanding eight-point advantage at the end of the first quarter, which drew back to just five points at the half, but nonetheless in their control.

The margin drew back out to eight points at the end of the third, before a tight final term confirmed the win for the Magic, 81-72.

Jesse Bowe was prominent for the Magic with 17 points, as was Jordan Canovan with 14 points.

Morwell however will leave their season at that, after finishing the season in eighth following a troubling start.

IN other games, Maffra went one from two at the weekend, confirming their end to the season, going down to Wonthaggi Coasters 109-62 after their exciting 103-96 win over Korumburra Wildcats.

Southern Peninsula defeated Lakes Entrance by nine points, and the Coasters completed a perfect weekend ahead of finals with an 18-point win over Pakenham Warriors.

Moe will face Warragul, while Traralgon will take on Wonthaggi in the semi-finals, with the winners to face off in the Grand Finals the following week.

JUST like the men’s sides, all Latrobe Valley women’s sides got won against their opponents in the final home-and-away round.

Traralgon made an absolute mockery of Warragul in their final game ahead of finals, gaining as much momentum as possible, winning by 44 points.

The T-Birds didn’t give their opponents a sniff, extending their lead at every change to dominate proceedings.

Traralgon almost doubled Warragul’s score in the first quarter, taking a 13-point lead into the break, before growing that to 18 points at the half.

That lead more than doubled in the third quarter, when Traralgon outscored Warragul by 19 points to take a 37-point lead.

A cooling final quarter not only gave the T-Birds the win, 102-58, but also a hell of a lot of confidence heading into finals.

Lauren Tuplin was quality for the T-Birds with 27 points. Plenty of assistance came in the form of Sienna Privetera (18 points), Jordan Pyle (17), Taylah Murtagh (12) and Laura Vannapraseuth (10).

MOE dealt just as much damage to Southern Peninsula, you could say, also winning by 44 points, but doubling the Sharks score.

Doing so dominantly, Moe kept the Sharks to as little as 12 points or less in each quarter.

The tone was set in the opening stanza, which saw the Meteors take a 20-point lead.

Moe then doubled the Sharks score in the second term to take a 30-point lead at the half, and from there the game was well and truly out of reach for the visitors, the score reading 53-22.

The second half was tame, but Moe still got the job done, scoring just 35 second half points to 22, closing out the game 44-point winners, 88-44.

Danielle Davies starred with 20 points and was helped in attack by Piper Albert (16 points), Caitlin Demczuk (13) and Tahni Hodgens (12).

MORWELL finished their season off in style, smashing the Sonics by 37 points at home.

Just like the other Latrobe Valley counterparts, the Magic outscored their opponents in every quarter, growing their lead with ease.

Morwell remained on top of their opponents for each quarter, taking a six-point lead, turning it into a 13-point advantage at halftime.

This continued to grow in the second half, turning into a blowout, with Morwell extending out to a 23-point lead before finishing strongly to walk away 85-48 winners.

Emily Scholtes was clinical with 29 points, as was Keely Philips with 23 points while Abbey Noblett was admirable with 16.

The Magic closed out their season with a 4-6 record, finishing seventh in the standings.

MAFFRA were downed twice, first by Korumburra 95-78, then the following day by Wonthaggi 66-60.

Southern Peninsula picked up a win against Lakes Entrance by 26 points, while the Coasters went two from two defeating Pakenham by 17 points.